By Laura Hochnadel
Ellen Costello, PT, PhD, has been named Director of the Physical Therapy (PT) Program in the Department of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). Costello, an Associate Professor of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences, served as associate director of the program since 2011. She assumed her new role in January.
Over the last 35 years, Costello has taught thousands of PT students. She joined GW SMHS as an assistant professor in 2004 and previously taught in PT programs at Columbia University and Ithaca College. Her primary areas of teaching include gross anatomy and management of patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary dysfunction. Her research interests range from PT education outcomes to physical activity and aging in the older population. Costello has received a number of teaching excellence awards and research awards throughout her career and has published and presented her research in peer-reviewed journals and national and international research forums. She is a member of the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Education, Acute Care, and Geriatrics Sections of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and an on-site reviewer for the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Costello has practiced in a variety of settings, including a hospital burn and trauma center and an oncology specialty hospital, and home care. She currently directs the GW Community Fitness Program, which serves local senior citizens with chronic health conditions.